Poland among NATO states to pledge more troops to Afghanistan
PR dla Zagranicy
Twenty-seven of NATO's 29 members, including Poland, have pledged to send more troops to support Afghanistan, where security has deteriorated in recent months.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
The situation in Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support training and advisory mission were the main topic of talks at a meeting of the alliance's defence ministers in Brussels.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the total number of troops in Afghanistan would be increased from 13,000 to 16,000, adding that about 1,500 of the extra troops would come from the US.
Poland declared it would increase its number of troops in Afghanistan from 200 to 300, but Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is also commander in chief of the country's armed forces, must sign off on the decision.
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Polish troops do not take part in combat in Afghanistan, but support their Afghan counterparts and police with training.
NATO withdrew from a combat role in Afghanistan in 2014, and security in the country has worsened since.
Taliban and Islamic State attacks occur every few days.
But Stoltenberg has said that NATO-trained Afghan forces are fulfilling their obligations and are blocking the Taliban from taking over strategic locations in the country.
Thirty-nine countries are involved in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. Half of the troops involved in the mission have come from the US.
The US invaded Afghanistan 16 years ago to overturn the Taliban's rule, which provided sanctuary to the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation that was behind the 11 September 2001 attacks. (vb)
Source: IAR, Reuters